WRITER: Kathy Hanks

Go, See, Do: Civil War on the Western Frontier, Mavis Staples talk and more

History buffs can enjoy tours, reenactments, 19th-century music and more during this weekend's Civil War on the Western Frontier events, organized by the Watkins Museum of History. As in previous years, the museum will be offering walking tours and bus tours that highlight historic sites — two of them tell the story of William Quantrill's Aug. 21, 1863, raid on Lawrence and the city's subsequent rebuilding, ...

If all goes well, sunflower fields should be in bloom for Labor Day weekend

The first sunflower blossom peeked open Thursday at the Hunsinger farm south of Lawrence. “They are on track to be in full bloom for Labor Day,” said George Hunsinger, who grows six acres of the big flowers not only for the birds but for people in search of a good photo opportunity. “The fields are usually ready in late August or early September, and they look their best for about two weeks.” George ...

The road to Woodstock: 2 Lawrence residents remember the trip half a century later

The way Woodstock was pitched by organizers was very different from what two Lawrence residents experienced when they went in search of “peace and music” 50 years ago. Steve Lopes and Frank “Lingo” Kelly were among the masses who flocked to an alfalfa field in Bethel, N.Y., for the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. From the festival flyer, Lopes imagined he was heading to an open space with plenty of ...

As United Way launches new campaign, agency leader wants to focus on communication, not numbers

No oversized thermometer will be measuring the rise in donations during the United Way of Douglas County's campaign this year, said Jeffrey Cornish, the agency's president and CEO. “We are not setting a number goal because we want to focus on communicating the purpose of the United Way,” said Cornish, who was launching his first campaign since taking over leadership of the organization March 9. Instead of ...

The Paper Plains Literary Festival coming to Lawrence next spring

Organizers of a literary festival set for next spring are lining up authors for the four-day event in Lawrence. “The Paper Plains Literary Festival,” scheduled for April 23-26, 2020, will be a collaboration of the University of Kansas Hall Center, The Commons, the Raven Book Store and the Lawrence Public Library. Danny Caine, the owner of the Raven Book Store and one of the festival organizers, said the ...

National Women's Hall of Fame to honor KU professor for her work on feminist, Native issues

University of Kansas professor Sarah Deer was in the first grade when she learned life wasn’t fair. She was reading an article in a children's magazine about the women’s suffrage movement, and she discovered that women didn't have the right to vote in national elections until 1920. “I was just sure it was a typo (and) they meant 1720 or 1620,” Deer said. She showed what she thought was an error to her ...

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department receives national award for breastfeeding support

Staff members at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department learned Friday they were one of only 16 agencies across the U.S. to receive the Gold Premiere Award of Excellence for breastfeeding support of WIC families. The award was given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kansas WIC program as part of National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week. Four years ago, LDCHD received a gold ...

National storytelling organization honors Lawrence resident who shares stories around the globe

Once upon a time, Priscilla Howe quit her job as a children's librarian, became a full-time storyteller and lived happily ever after. That’s the abridged version of Howe's life. The full story includes Howe recently returning home to Lawrence from the National Storytelling Summit in Fremont, Calif., where she was one of two recipients of the National Storytelling Network's International Story Bridge ...

Go, See, Do: Community Safety Fair, "Good Night, Lawrence!" and more

Comedians and a few political candidates will come together for a night of local laughs at this weekend's "Good Night, Lawrence!" show. This is the second "Good Night, Lawrence!" performance that local theater group Card Table Productions has done — the last one was in January of this year. On the schedule this time is a Lawrence-themed quiz show, where two teams of comics and the audience will be answering ...

New Lawrence watch party for Perseid meteor shower hinges on a clear night sky

Valerie Mann is keeping an eye on this weekend’s weather forecast in anticipation of watching the annual Perseid meteor shower on a little patch of prairie in southeast Lawrence. As a naturalist at the Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St., Mann will oversee a watch party at the center Saturday night, hosted by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. But stargazers don’t have to wait until the ...

Ceramics and printmaking artists-in-residence ready to get to know the Lawrence community

The brand new artists-in-residence at the Lawrence Arts Center were focused on an unimaginative but necessary task Monday: filling out W-4 forms on their first day on the job. Sculptor Ashlyn Pope and printmaker Dayon Royster had just arrived at the center at 940 New Hampshire St., where they will be spending the coming 12 months creating new pieces of art, as well as teaching classes for the Lawrence ...

Veterinarian has been a familiar face at fair for 40 years

Like a politician, David Nottingham walked through the Douglas County Fair pavilion during the swine show Wednesday night and said hello to everyone he passed. Nottingham is not running for office but is certainly a familiar face to 4-H’ers and their families around the livestock barns after 40 years of serving as a veterinarian at the fair. Along with veterinarian Michelle Colgan Hall, Nottingham checked in ...

Lawrence Farmers' Market will now be in South Park on Tuesdays

Starting next week, the Tuesday version of the Lawrence Farmers' Market will be in South Park instead of at the Vermont Street parking garage. For the past three years, the Tuesday afternoon market has been in the lower level of the parking garage adjacent to the Lawrence Public Library. But Brian McInerney, marketing director with the farmers market, said he hoped the new location would help the market ...

Storms, flash flooding inundate Lawrence area; more expected as Weather Service warns of danger

Updated at 6:25 p.m. Thursday Lawrence and Ottawa were in the bullseye of heavy thunderstorms, bringing around 8 inches of rain to the area southwest of Lawrence through Thursday morning and necessitating multiple water rescues. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical was called to rescue nine people from homes around the Lone Star Lake area between 7:20 and 11 a.m. Thursday, and it had to rescue three ...

Go, See, Do: An open mic for poets of color and 2 church rummage sales

The longtime host of a monthly poetry event for artists of color will pass the mic to two new leaders this weekend. Jameelah Jones will host her last Mic Supremacy event from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Raven Book Store, 6 E. Seventh St. “Jameelah is moving away, so this is her retirement from the event,” said Danny Caine, owner of the Raven. Jones, who is moving to Georgia, said she's glad the ...

Flooding closes several trails; grocery store temporarily shuts for weather-related repairs

Heavy rainfall prompted closures of several area trails on Thursday, and a local grocery store also briefly shut down because of issues related to the storm. The trail connecting Burcham Park, 200 Indiana St., and Constant Park, 230 W. Sixth St., is currently closed because of flooding along the banks of the Kansas River, said Derek Rogers, director of the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. A portion of ...

Llamas in county fair project offer entertainment and a few life lessons

Rocky, a brown llama, came with experience, which helped Newt Schreiner, 11, Wednesday as he led the animal around the show ring at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. This was Newt's first year in the llama project, but not Rocky's. Newt shares the animal with his older sister, Sawyer Schreiner, 14, who has been in the project the past four years. “I don’t mind sharing,” said Sawyer, who offers tips to her ...

A year behind schedule, owners of Village Cooperative finally have a place to call home

Like an excited student about to move into a college dorm, Toni Dudley was pulling a canvas wagon loaded with a few of her belongings into the Village Cooperative Friday afternoon, ready to start a new life. The 52-unit housing complex, at the corner of West Sixth Street and Branchwood Drive, is for a different stage of life, though — specifically for people 62 and older. Toni and her husband, John Dudley, ...

Steady road to recovery: Rebuilding after May's devastating tornado

Two months after a massive tornado ripped through Douglas and Leavenworth counties, owners of homes and businesses in the path of the 32-mile, EF-4 twister are realizing how much patience and determination rebuilding takes — and they're seeing progress. Excavating equipment continues clearing debris at Free State Growers, 12819 198th St., a longtime Linwood business that took a direct hit from the May 28 ...

Outdoor Aquatic Center closing early this summer because of staffing, financial issues

The city’s Outdoor Aquatic Center will be closing two weeks early this summer because of staffing and financial issues. “We typically have gone from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” said Roger Steinbrock, marketing supervisor with the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. However, this year the outdoor pool at 727 Kentucky St. is set to close for the season on Aug. 18. This is despite the fact that July ...